A Brief History of the Armidale Rifle Club
The first evidence of a rifle club in Armidale came from a report in the Armidale Express on the 2nd September 1865 which stated that a number of gentlemen had assembled and agreed to the establishment of a rifle club in Armidale, and a committee was appointed to prepare rules for the running of the rifle club.
The rifle club as we know it today was formed in 1885 as the Armidale Volunteer Rifle Company and a rifle range reserve No 2865 was notified on the 8th January 1887 which became known as the Long Swamp Road Rifle Range. More land was added to the Long Swamp Road site when portion 875 in the Parish of Armidale was made a reserve for Rifle Range on the 24th October 1896.
The last addition of land to the Long Swamp Road site was made on the 29th April 1905 when portion 882 was acquired by the Commonwealth Government and the range was expanded to ten targets with firing points from 100yds to 1,000yds.
The Armidale Rifle Club shot on the Long Swamp Road Rifle Range until the range was closed on the 13th October 1982 due to a housing subdivision being created along the Castledoyle Road which encroached into the range danger zone.
After the closing of the Long Swamp Road Range the Armidale Rifle Club members did not have a range to shoot on until 1987. After looking at a number of possible range sites in the Armidale area with no suitable site being found. Mr W.A. (Bill) Ward the Master in Charge of rifle shooting at The Armidale School contacted Mr David Wright from Wallamumbi Station to gain permission to walk over the site of the rifle range on the Station which had been used by the Wollomombi Rifle Club until 1969. This permission was willingly given and Bill Ward walked over the old range site on the 20th April 1984 and reported that the old range site could be reopened with a lot of work.
The Armidale Rifle Club then started negotiations with David Wright to reopen the rifle range on Wallamumbi Station and after three years of negotiating with the Dumaresq Shire Council, Department of Defence, Department of Lands, Armidale Pastures Protection Board and many working bee with the members from the Armidale Rifle Club, The Armidale School Rifle Club, University of New England Rifle Club and The Armidale School Old Boys Union helping to rebuild the Wallamumbi rifle range to a four target range with firing points from 100yds to 700yds.
On the 10th June 1987 the Department of Defence issued a certificate of safety for the range and on the 3rd July 1987 Wallamumbi Pty Limited signed a permission agreement allowing the range to be used by the three above mention rifle clubs and on Saturday the 25th July 1987 the Armidale Rifle Club held its first shoot on the Wallamumbi Rifle Range.
The range is still in use with the Armidale Rifle Club, The Armidale School Rifle Club (TAS) and New England Girls’ School Rifle Club (NEGS) using the range.
In March 2001 Wallamumbi Station was sold to the Roche Group. The Roche Group very kindly allowed the Armidale Rifle Club to continue using the Wallamumbi Rifle Range and a good working relationship has been maintained between the Roche Group and the Armidale Rifle Club.
Life Member Armidale Rifle Club
20th February 2015
Get in contact with us today on:
Captain 02 6657 5242
Vic Captain 0428 728 081
Secretary/Treasurer 02 6772 2015